The Top 5 Dangers that Disqualify a Church Leader

I was recently asked the question:

What are the dangers that disqualify church leaders from leadership in the church?

Great question. The one who asked the question had a purpose. Thankfully, it was that this young church leader wanted to avoid them if possible. I love the intentionality.

I had to think back over my years in church leadership and some of the situations I’ve seen that derailed a ministry leader’s ability to lead. While the term “disqualify” may not always fit…I may even prefer the word sidetrack because I believe God’s grace can restore…even those in ministry, certainly each of these can keep a leader from leading at full capacity. I chose, based on the question I received to stick with the term disqualify. As strong as the word is, there certainly are times that is the case.

When the leadership of a minister is injured by any of these, whether they can be restored or not, the effectiveness of the ministry is jeopardized. These are the type dangers that, if the leader doesn’t seek help, improve as a leader, or renew their passion for ministry, he or she may never be completely effective in ministry, and may even lose their position in ministry.

Here are 5 dangers that disqualify a church leader:

Immorality – Immorality has destroyed many great leaders. Don’t let it happen to you.

Dishonesty – When you lose the ability to be trusted you distance yourself from people who are willing to follow. Don’t let it happen to you.

Halfheartedness – If you aren’t willing to give your best, pretty soon you’ll have nothing worth following. Don’t let it happen to you.

Laziness – Ministers who take advantage of flexible work schedules or less structured accountability to work less are eventually discovered. Don’t let it happen to you.

Complacency – When you don’t care, neither will the people you’re trying to lead. Don’t let it happen to you.

God can restore. He does restore. I believe you can move forward after any of these dangers. The more you protect yourself from these dangers, however, the stronger and longer your tenure in ministry will be.

What dangers would you add that disqualify a church leader?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add video comment

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

29 thoughts on “The Top 5 Dangers that Disqualify a Church Leader

  1. Alright, here's mine:

    - Incompetency

    Ministry is a solemn responsibility. It's our job to be good stewards of the opportunities God has given us. If we're not willing, or able, to do the job well, we should either change move on.

    Some need training.
    Some need correcting.
    Some just need to not be in ministry.

    It's hard for some people to accept, but it's the truth.
    Twitter: joewickman

  2. I'm not sure I fully understand. On one hand you say that a leader can be disqualified by these things. On the other you say they can be restored. So do you mean only an unrepentant leader is disqualified? Or can they be disqualified under certain circumstances even if they are repentant?

    • I didn't fully say, because, as one of the commenters alluded too, some of that is a matter of opinion, depending on denominational or associational rules, etc. I may post a stronger opinion post later, but left this one to more interpretation.However, that said, I land on the side of they are disqualified until they are restored. I personally don't prefer the word disqualified, as I explained in the post, but I went with the question as it was presented to me.Confusing enough? Thanks Tony.

  3. Here is a followup question: Which of these peremnantly disqualifies a leader? In the church setting, immorality seems to be the obvious choice. But could a person suffer from the others, grow and mature and at some point be placed back into a position of leadership? And the more I think about the "obvious" choice, the less obvious it seems. Is there an "unpardonable sin" for a leader?

    • That's a great question…and highly debatable. I'm such a proponent of grace that I probably land on an extreme side of the debate. But, even for me…it's a great question. I would say…without taking much time to think…that in one particular church or organization that you may not be able to recover from son sin and still lead there effectively, but I'd be hesitant to say disqualified forever from ministry. Grace is too amazing to me for that.But, again, great question. I may ponder it. Are you going to write that post or me? :)

      • I'm not sure because my thoughts on this subject have been very fluid lately. The group in which I was saved/trained under would be considered very legalistic, and so I know the "company line," but I find myself not coming to the same conclusion from Scripture as I grow and move in a different direction personally.

        Immorality seems to be the only thing close to causing a permanent disqualification, but if grace, mercy, and repentance are REALLY what we say they are, then should not they be practiced in the toughest of situations, as well? I often think of how Peter seemed to meet very few of the qualifications listed for a pastor/leader, yet Jesus called Him, extended him much grace and mercy, and used Peter in a supernatural way.

        But, at the same time, we do background checks here at the church, and if a red flag was raised, we would not put that person in a place of leadership. Just so hard to figure this one out, at this time.

    • Leadership takes many forms. I know and work with a man who, as a deacon and ministry leader, committed adultery. It was discovered, his church relieved him of his positions, and he went through a process of reconciliation and restoration with his wife and his church. He now leads a city-wide ministry devoted to reaching and restoring men involved in sexual sin. His church has chosen not to restore him to the deaconate, but helps support his ministry financially, and refers men and couples to it.

  4. Arrogance. Not sure if that disqualifies a leader de-facto. But it certainly damages relationships, and ultimately undermines the church and his ability to lead.

  5. With all the emphasis on leaning into your strengths and not wasting time on your weaknesses, I'm glad to see a post on these dangers. Sometimes they are seen merely as weaknesses and leaders think they can continue on in their strengths but still be, for example, immoral, dishonest, etc.

    Thanks for your hard work in social media, Ron.

  6. I would add 1 that has happened to me. Do not be a “Talker”; if something is said to you in confidence, keep there! Do not use the information, nor share it with others. That my go with the honesty, you mentioned.
    Twitter: bryankr